Simultaneous language acquisition
Children can acquire a second language in two ways, through simultaneous or successive language acquisition. By simultaneous language acquisition we mean learning a second language from the birth of a child. In simultaneous language acquisition, children learn two languages separately from each other; they develop a separate system for each language (Gielen & Işҫi, 2015). The acquisition of a second language is largely the same as the language acquisition of monolingual children. The vocabulary for each language lags slightly behind that of monolingual children, but they know enough words to be able to participate at school and during primary school this difference is rectified (Van der Linden & Kuiken, 2012). Another difference is
the linguistic mix that occurs when acquiring two languages. In the first phase, a child uses separate words from the two language systems (also called codes). Gielen & Işҫi (2015) call this mixing code change. In the second stage, children can merge words from two language systems into two-word sentences. Around three years of age, the third stage takes place in which children can transfer grammar from one language system to another, for example: 'I'm jumping' (Goorhuis-Brouwer, 2014) and discover that they use two different codes (Verhoeven, 1994)
Successive language acquisition
When children first acquire their mother tongue and learn a second language at a later stage, this is referred to as successive language acquisition. This second language acquisition is different from the acquisition of the mother tongue. In the first language, children go through the previously mentioned stages of frontal-, early-, differentiation- and completion-, thus building up a language system. Second language acquisition builds on this system and therefore does not have a parallel second language system. In successive language acquisition, children skip the pre- and early language phases and construct grammar, vocabulary and phonology on their mother tongue. There is thus a transfer of new information to existing knowledge, with which the importance of a good command of the mother tongue is essential (Gielen & Işҫi, 2015). Children
who acquire a second language often first go through a quiet period in which they receptively absorb the language, but do not yet produce it (Gielen & Işҫi, 2015 / Bodde-Alderlieste & Schokkenbroek, 2011). Learning a second language preferably takes place in the languagesensitive period (0 - 7 years), because at that point there is still overlapping brain activity. If this is not the case, it is best to wait until after the tenth year before acquiring a second language, because at that age the mother tongue will be at a level where the second language requires a conscious thought and translation process.
CLIL: Content and Language Integrated Learning
Content Language and Integrated Learning (CLIL) is a didactic form of language-oriented
vocational education, in which subjects are taught in a second language.
CLIL has four didactic goals: subject, language, attitude and internationalisation goals, which are
called the four C's in English: Content, Cognition, Communication and Culture (Coyle, Hood &
Marsh, 2010). Primary school de Ontmoeting works with CLIL from group 1 onwards; in the first
four years there is pre-school CLIL with an emphasis on playful learning.
In addition to the collaboration with Royal Kids Home, de Ontmoeting also has contacts with the
Comenius College for secondary education. In mutual consultation they discuss the ongoing
(bilingual) line from primary to secondary education.s.